Full Circle Sisterhood….what it is and how YOU can join the circle…

 It is finally time! Will you come along with us on this journey? jEANETTE AND ME

melody holding mothers day card   cards fanned out We are so excited that we finally get to tell you about a project that has been in the works for a few years. It has so many wonderful components that I have been dying to tell you about….helping women of the world, beautiful things that you can buy for gifts and for yourself, a new way to help and connect with our sisters all over the world….
Hsa Gay Shee, Boise Idaho, Full Circle Exchange Job Readiness Program

I’m going to tell you the major points of this blog post first because there are SO MANY EXCITING THINGS to tell about….then I will go into more detail for those who want to know more. Along the way I’m going to show you some of the products and some of the women we have been working with. Here’s what I will be telling you in this blog post! This is me wearing one of the amazing scarves in this new program!! I got to design all of the products for this incredible initiative! I feel so fortunate to be a part of this and Brave Girls Club is beyond honored to join hands with our sisters all over the world to make this happen! melody brown floral

  • What is awesome about this project?
  • What is our involvement?
  • How did we get involved?
  •  Who is being helped?
  •  Why does this matter?
  •  How can YOU help?

We’ve been showing you a lot of “teaser” photos on Facebook of a new product line that is coming out soon…all part of a big beautiful circle of sisterhood that involves our friends at Full Circle Exchange (I will tell you more about that amazing organization in a minute) in combination with my artsy designs and Brave Girls Club to bring incredible opportunities to brave women all over the world who for many tragic reasons have not had even basic opportunities to get ahead in their lives. Our goal is to connect women ALL OVER THE WORLD, wherever they are…..in this case….women who are making beautiful products are being connected to women who love beautiful products…..

Here are some sisters from Brave Girl Camp wearing the aprons that their sisters from India made. (These and many more aprons will be available for Mother’s Day through this program.) brave girls in aprons Here’s one of the gorgeous mugs…..I can’t wait for you to see them in person!  PRETTY LADY MUG HOLDING

  So…here goes! For Mother’s Day, 2014, Walmart will be featuring an ENORMOUS line of products  that were assembled by women from all over the world to give them fair paying jobs and job training. Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, and they have put their influence and their checkbooks to work with their amazing Women’s Initiative (learn more about thatHERE). We are so proud to be part of this flagship project! I had the honor of designing a line of products that could be assembled by women with minimal experience and resources….products that I knew buyers in the United States would be excited to purchase and give to people they love. We are thrilled to know that Walmart is working hard to provide SO MANY WOMEN all over the world with fair paying jobs.

Mother's Day Display We even have gift bags for your gifts to be presented in! gift bag with tissue paper Each Walmart store will have only 6-8 of each product, so we want to get the word out now! These products are beautiful and high quality and will hopefully sell out very quickly, because that is exactly what is needed so that we can keep this amazing program going… more product orders from more retailers will mean more jobs for more women and on and on!) Gifts and wrapping designed by melody ross These products have super-low promotional pricing as part of Walmart’s Women’s Initiative, so the price to get these products in your hands as gifts will blow your mind! Rest assured that even with this special pricing, every woman was paid a fair wage and had a wonderful work environment…so awesome in every way! Each of the products was assembled or finished BY HAND by one of our beautiful sisters from countries all around the world. These are women from many different at-risk situations, including refugees from countries where there is civil war or genocide, women who have been rescued from human trafficking, and so on. Above all else, they need and desperately desire a way to make a living. On each product, you will find a tag with their hand-written signature so you will know exactly who made the gift you have purchased. It is really so wonderful! Artisan signing card back of card Some of the products have beautiful, collectible charms made by our sisters in Peru…..all different charms….some are metal and some are woven… and you can collect them all! charm on cup fabric   charm on cup humming bird   charm on gift bag   collect share empower cup We REALLY want this to work out beautifully so that we can keep doing it again and again, providing wonderful jobs and training and real ways to help. The best way we can all help is to get out and buy these products…to spread the word and send a BIG message to Walmart and other retailers that we want more programs like this…Full Circle Sisterhood…where we all get to do our part in helping each other along the way. Did I mention that we REALLY want these products to sell out? :) aprons Here’s our favorite apron from the collection…we wore them all through our last Brave Girl Camp. Aren’t they gorgeous!?! Each is signed by the artisan who made it… I am Loved apron - signed by artisan We even embellished ours!! embellished I am loved apron Okay….now that you know the basics….I’ll bet you have some questions! We will be giving you a lot of exciting and beautiful parts of the story over the next month (including personal stories of some of the amazing artisans who have created each product) but here are some answers to what you might be wondering right now….

What is awesome about this project?

It is helping our sisters from all over the world…and we get to tell their stories! Once you hear their stories, you will see that they are so much like you and me. It is awesome because we are creating a worldwide sisterhood and a real relationship, and real ways to reach out and help. It is awesome because it is all spoken in the language of beauty…beautiful souls making beautiful products for beautiful souls. happy mothers day to grandma butterfly card   sister making cardMona Mohammed, Boise Idaho, Full Circle Exchange Job Readiness Program

It all began with the introduction of our Truth Card Exchange program over a year ago. So many MANY of you have participated by creating Truth Cards and sending them to us so that we can get them into the hands of our sisters all around the world. Now the circle is complete…if you missed it above, take a minute to watch this short video to see how our vision of creating a worldwide circle of sisterhood has come to pass, and how it includes YOU…

What is our involvement?

Brave Girls Club has the honor of telling the stories of these women and getting the word out. This is a terrific partnership for us because our mission is to help women to be good to themselves and to each other and to connect women to each other all over the world. With my 20 year background in art and design, I had the great honor of designing the products for this collection. I think you’ll love them!

How did Brave Girls Club get involved?

I have been long time friends with Jeanette and Mark Priddy, founders of Full Circle Exchange. CLICK HERE TO READ ALL ABOUT FULL CIRCLE EXCHANGE.


You might remember that I traveled with them to the Philippines last year to help in the fight to rescue girls and women from human trafficking. manila-truth-cards-melody-670


Jeanette and me with one of our dear sisters in the Phillippines.

During that time, Brave Girls Club raised tens of thousands of dollars in just a few days to help buy a Safe House for rescued women and girls…an amazing miracle! At that time we introduced our Truth Card program, and Brave Girls from all over have been making Truth Cards ever since then…they are sent to us and we distribute them to women in all different places in the US and other countries. They have been a powerful force for creating sisterhood and support. Out of all these efforts, the idea for creating beautiful products that would provide jobs for vulnerable and marginalized women was born. Jeanette and I spent many days and night talking about how we could work to make this a reality. Many other partners joined in along the way to help make this happen…including Walmart, Humanity United, and many other charitable organizations. This has been a true team effort!

Why Walmart?

Because there are many controversial opinions about Walmart, we knew this would be one of the most important questions to answer. We have done extensive relationship building and fact checking to feel confident in working with Walmart and their incredible Women’s Initiative…it is a beautiful thing. empowering-women-together-logo Please read all about it HERE, and you will see why we are proud to partner with Walmart’s Women’s Initiative!

Who is being helped?

Opportunities, jobs and training are being provided through this program for marginalized women worldwide. artisans assembling mother's day cards

Boise Idaho, Full Circle Exchange Job Readiness Program

This includes refugees from countless countries who have been relocated to the United States…many right here in Idaho!

Why does this matter?

So many of our sisters across the world just need a bit of support and help to get out of horrific life situations. They want to work. They are talented and driven and ambitious. They simply need the opportunity to make this happen…a hand UP, not a hand out. This matters because once a woman is able to rise out of poverty and vulnerable situations, she will help her family and her community…which will help the world. This matters because something has to be done to help our world and our sisters. This is just one of many wonderful programs to help our sisters across the world.

How can I get involved?

There are so many ways that you can get involved! You can make Truth Cards to be sent to the women working in this program, your worldwide sisters (get a free Truth Card Kit here). You can spread the word!  And to keep the program going, just go to Walmart during the weeks before Mother’s Day and buy your gifts from the display. Just doing that will make an enormous difference!

Sign up to receive your Free Truth Card Kit and updates on how you can get involved HERE.

What kinds of products will be offered?

Beginning April 21, you will find a huge island display full of beautiful and meaningful products perfect for Mother’s Day giving in Walmart…for you and for all of the women in your life!   girl letting butterflies go mug   wordy mug pretty lady cup Gifts of Goodness - box designed by melody ross I looooove the necklace that comes in this gift pack!!!! Not to mention the chocolate and the beautiful keepsake box! (perfect for keeping your new scarves in!) contents of GOG box hammered necklace melody in necklace There are beautiful mugs and cups, scarves, aprons, jewelry, chocolate and a large selection of handmade Mother’s Day cards, plus stunning gift bags and tissue paper, all in the same product display! Madi and I took some photos of us in some of the beautiful scarves and aprons! There are SO MANY to choose from and the price is AMAZING!!! madi in favorite scarf   madi in pink scarf   melody in green scarf   melody brown floral   madi in black and white scarf   black floral scarf tied in knot   teal chevron scarf   because im the mom apron   handpainted floral apron   mothers teach us to fly apron

When will these products be available?

The display will appear in Walmart stores on April 21, 2014 and it will only be there as long as the products last. They are value priced and strikingly beautiful, so we all expect that they will sell out quickly! Please make plans to get into the stores and get some for yourself…and please also spread the word!! Mothers Day Card - designed by melody ross\ makingcard-400 cards fanned out Beginning later this week, we will begin a series of blog posts where we will tell the amazing, touching, often heart-breaking stories of the women artisans who are involved in this project. You will be uplifted by their courage…they are Brave Girls indeed! I can’t wait to tell you what I learned from sitting down and talking with them. Thanks to each one of you for joining us in our efforts! I am excited to bring all of us together to do something incredible!! love, melody


GIVEAWAY!!! Want to win a big assortment of these products?? Just watch the video up there, tell us what you think of it, and you will be entered to win one of 10 prize baskets full of these gorgeous products!!!!! Plus a few Brave Girl goodies to go with it!!!!! PLEASE PASS THIS ON!!! We want to create a lasting program for our sisters all over the world! ========================================

PS. Here’s a quick reminder on how YOU can get involved (spread the word!)…

1. SHOP Between April 21, 2014 and May 11, 2014, visit Walmart to shop for your Mother’s Day gifts at the special ‘island’ display of beautiful gifts designed by Melody Ross and assembled  or created by in-transition women. You’ll find beautiful, meaningful, affordable, high-quality gifts that you will be proud to give. Purchasing these products opens the door for future contracts with major retailers to carry similar lines, ensuring that job creation continues and flourishes.  Other retailers are watching this campaign to see if supporting future campaigns makes economic sense for them. In a nutshell, if we can quickly sell out of these products, we will get their attention. YOU CAN HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN by shopping and spreading the word!

2. LIKE Visit http://facebook.com/fullcircleexchange and click LIKE so that you receive ongoing updates on ways you can continue to participate, including opportunities for fun giveaways.

3. CREATE Make Brave Girl Truth Cards Truth Cards are little playing-card-sized works of art that we invite you to make. Send them to Brave Girls Club and we will get them into the hands of at-risk and in-transition women…building the circle of sisterhood around the world!

Sign up HERE to receive your FREE Truth Card kit and updates on this awesome project!

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